The Pew Project on Excellence in Journalism has put a significant amount of time, money and energy into proving a fact common sense makes obvious enough: iPad, along with other tablet users, are wealthier, more educated, and tend to follow current events on a greater scale than members of the populace who lack a tablet.
The study found that 51% of tablet users have earned a college degree, in contrast with 28% of all Americans. People who have college degrees also tend to have better jobs, better grasps of technology and the desire to keep up with new innovations as they are released.
The Pew Project also concluded that 53% of tablet users have annual household incomes topping $75,000, well above the actual demographic breakdown within the United States. It makes sense that the majority of tablet users be either a member or dependent of the upper-crust. Tablets cost hundreds of dollars, and prices aren’t likely to fall soon because new versions and updates are continually being released. With each new tablet comes some slightly improved feature that raises the market value just enough to keep prices from significantly dropping. In addition to the cost of the status pad, apps must be purchased to populate the screen and service, which ultimately ends up as the real money drainer.
It may seem as if the tablet has been around for aeons, but it is still a mere tot, introduced just a few years ago in the midst of the economic speed bump-turned-ditch society is still revving against. The only Americans who have been financially fit enough to purchase a tablet in the past couple of years have been those who have just a little bit more money floating around. Further proving this finances-tablet link is the statistic that 62% of owners hold full-time jobs.
The Pew then discovered that tablet users tend to have ages falling between 30 and 49 years, a full 11% more than the actual breakdown of age groups in the United States, which also makes complete sense. This group of people is the most likely to have paid off debts from college, have found a stable job before the economic crisis began and avoided layoffs as companies began to trim excess fat, largely by tempting older and more expensive workers with early retirement packages. Still young enough to have an easy adaptability to and appreciation for new technology, these are the target buyers and owners.
So with the extra grand revelation that tablet users seem to get news through their tablets on a much higher level than the average American, Pew finished its project studying things logic could have revealed. If somebody has a college education, they likely have a better job. With a better job, better pay often follows. Apply age to the product in question and understanding why the owner of a tablet falls into a certain demographic becomes incredibly easy. The news aspect also makes sense: the educated may have a better sense of who they are within a local, national and world community and tend to keep up with what is going on. The financially fit who still have to plan for an increasingly uncertain future keep up with news data to better assess their stability in lifestyle. The fact that tablet owners use their devices to get the news is a minor detail: if somebody is going to get the news, they are going to use what they possess to do so, including a tablet that represents a significant investment of precious money.
Instead of wasting effort to record statistics that are logically obvious, studies should be performed to discover new and interesting data that will have a relevant use to the world at large–beyond advertising reps for the latest and greatest in personal electronics.
Allana Wooley is a freshman history and anthropology double major from Marble Falls.